Ambitions of CoffeeAdapt team
The ambition of CoffeeAdapt team is to invent and innovate in order to address some major challenges of the coffee value chain. Our major scientific objective is to better understand the physiological and genetic mechanisms governing agronomic traits and stress adaptation of coffee plants in the context of agroecological transition and Climate Change (CC). Coffee adapt is strongly involved in breeding programs in partnership. The major impact of CoffeeAdapt is measured by the genetic progress (in terms of stress resilience, productivity and quality) of new varieties better adapted to agroforestry and zero pesticides cropping systems.
We address scientific questions in three areas:
1. Adaptation and plant response to environment: How will coffee species (the cultivated Coffea arabica and C. canephora as well as wild species) adapt to environmental variations such as light conditions under agroforestry and the increase of abiotic stresses related to CC such as increase or extreme variations of temperature, water stress and nutrient status?
2. Development of biotechnologies for coffee breeding: Somatic embryogenesis and other vegetative propagation methods (rooted mini-cuttings, mini-grafting, in vitro micro-cuttings), Agrobacterium mediated-genetic transformation methods; Genome editing through CRISPR-Cas9; Functional validation of candidate genes ; Cryopreservation of genetic resources.
3. New varieties for the future: Exploring the genetic diversity within the genus Coffea and the molecular basis of major traits to create new varieties (homozygous lines or F1 hybrids); Adapting prediction and association tools for genomic and/or phenomic selection (based on NIRS and/or NMR) and/or transcriptomic and/or co-expression networks to increase genetic gains in coffee breeding.
CoffeeAdapt is a multidisciplinary team that claims through an integrative approach to understand the coffee plant responses at leaf, fruit and root levels in different environmental and genetic backgrounds. We study metabolome, phenome, fruit and leaf transcriptomes, as well as fruit sensory analysis. We integrate results into a phenotypic database analyzed by bioinformatics and statistical workflows to generate relationships between gene expression and phenotypes, gene arrays and predictive equations. For some candidate genes, functional analysis by genome editing is performed. CoffeeAdapt has been creating and commercializing a number of Arabica elite varieties for 20 years in collaboration with the PROMECAFE research network and the ECOM group.
Main public research partnerships:
We developed many collaborations with public and private research partners: with other research units and labs of CIRAD and IRD but also in Europe such as: the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway (gene arrays); the Institute of Molecular Physiology at the Max Planck Institute, Potsdam, Germany, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; the University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Our team works with several partners in tropical regions: the Instituto de Ecologia, INECOL, in Mexico; the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, CATIE, in Costa Rica; the Universidade Federal de Lavras, UFLA, the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, UFV and the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, EMBRAPA, in Brazil; the Institut de Recherche Agricole pour le Developpement, IRAD, in Cameroon; the University of Science and Technology, USTH, the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Sciences, VAAS, and the Western Highlands Agriculture & Forestry Science Institute, WASI in Vietnam.
CoffeeAdapt Team has developed a long and success-story partnership with minor and major actors of the coffee industry including private companies. Our vision is to implement inclusive research and development projects including the stakeholders of the coffee value chain from the coffee grower to the coffee roaster for more durable and sustainable development of coffee farming.
- H2020 BREEDCAFS: BREEDing Coffee for AgroForestry System: https://www.breedcafs.eu/
- CIRAD-SUNTORY project: Volatile compounds, flavor and gene expression during Coffea arabica cherry ripening.
- ECOFFEE Initiative: An industry and research partnership to reduce the use of pesticides in coffee farming: https://www.cirad.fr/en/press-area/press-releases/2021/ecoffee-r-d-to-reduce-pesticides-in-the-coffee-sector
- MADGIC "coffee MAle sterility and Drought GenomIC". A research collaboration agreement Cirad-Nestlé (2021-2024).